EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon’s 2014 cross country schedule will feature Michigan State’s first appearance at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, as well as trips to Boston, Seattle and back-to-back visits to California’s Bay Area during the postseason, as head coach Robert Johnson announced the fall slate on Monday.
The Ducks will open the 2014 cross country season by hosting the ninth annual Bill Dellinger Invitational on Friday, Sept. 5. The Dellinger meet will return to Pre’s Trail in Eugene’s Alton Baker Park for the first time since 2010. It will be the third time overall that the iconic path has hosted the Dellinger Invitational.
The matchup with the Spartans takes on added significance with the race being held the night before the Oregon-Michigan State football game, which will have a national television audience and potentially ESPN’s College GameDay in TrackTown for the weekend.
“We are extremely excited not only to bring the Dellinger meet back to its roots on Pre’s Trail for 2014, but also to have our cross country teams be part of a football game day weekend around Autzen Stadium,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “Getting Michigan State to come and run here the same weekend as the Oregon-Michigan State football game is an incredible opportunity to showcase our cross country student-athletes and the University of Oregon.
“Having teams from the Pac-12 and Big Ten compete in a setting like this is something that we would like to do more often, and I think fans of both conferences would like to see more events like this.”
Michigan State’s women finished sixth at the 2013 NCAA Championships, while the Spartans’ men were ranked in the preseason poll before falling out.
The inaugural Bill Dellinger Invitational was held on Pre’s Trail in 2006.
Following the Dellinger meet, the men’s team will compete in Boston College’s Battle in Beantown on Sept. 26, while the women will run in the Washington Invitational eight days later in Seattle.
Both teams will wrap up the regular season with the Pre-National Invitational meet at LaVern Gibson Championships Course in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 18.
The postseason in the Bay Area begins with the Pac-12 Championships Oct. 31 in Oakland. Two weeks after that, the Ducks cross the San Francisco Bay for the NCAA West Regional Championships Nov. 14 at Stanford.
The 2014 NCAA Championships will be held Nov. 22 at LaVern Gibson Championships Course in Terre Haute, Ind.
The men will be led by sophomore Edward Cheserek, who became the first Oregon runner to win the NCAA title as a freshman.
The Ducks also return seniors Tanguy Pepiot and Daniel Winn, junior Matthew Melancon and sophomore Jake Leingang from the squad that finished fifth at the NCAA Championships in 2013.
Oregon’s women will be led by senior Megan Patrignelli, who was the team’s top finisher in five meets last season, as well as junior Annie Leblanc, who paced the Ducks’ 14th-place showing at the NCAA meet a year ago. The women actually return the entire squad that ran at the 2013 national championships with seniors Lindsay Crevoiserat and Mia Elbon, juniors Molly Grabill and Abbey Leonardi and sophomore Maggie Schmaedick joining Patrignelli and Leblanc.
2014 Oregon Cross Country Schedule
Friday, September 5, Bill Dellinger Invitational, Pre’s Trail, Alton Baker Park, Eugene, Ore.
Friday, September 26, Battle in Beantown, Franklin Park, Boston, Mass. (Men’s team only)
Saturday, October 4, Washington Invitational, Jefferson Park, Seattle, Wash. (Women’s team only)
Saturday, October 18, Pre-National Invitational, LaVern Gibson Championship Course, Terre Haute, Ind.
Friday, October 31, Pac-12 Championships, Metropolitan Golf Course, Oakland, Calif.
Friday, November 14, NCAA West Regional Championships, Stanford Golf Course, Stanford, Calif.
Saturday, November 22, NCAA Championships, LaVern Gibson Championship Course, Terre Haute, Ind.
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